February 04, 2013
NEW DELHI — India will reveal “glimpses” of its Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) at the Aero India 2013 show.
“For the first time, we will present to the world glimpses of the prospective multirole fighter also known as Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft. This is under co-development with the Russians,” says R.K. Tyagi, chairman of the state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
Russia’s prototype fifth-generation Sukhoi T-50 fighter jet, on which India’s FGFA will be based, recently carried out its first successful long-range flight. The T-50 boasts stealth features, super-cruise capability, advanced avionics and an X-band active phased-array radar, a defense ministry official says.
The Indian air force (IAF) version is likely to be test flown in 2014. India plans to buy more than 200 of the fighters at an estimated cost of $30 billion by 2030, replacing the MiG-29s and Su-30MKI Flanker-Hs being flown by the IAF.
“India, presently, has stated its intention for around 250 fighter jets. The order is scheduled to be complete by 2030. According to estimates, each aircraft could eventually cost over $100 million,” the official says. The deal is reported to be in its final stages.
Other major HAL products on display at the Aero India show include in-house designs such as the Light Combat Helicopter (LCH), the armed version of the “Dhruv” Advanced Light Helicopter known as the “Rudra,” and the Intermediate Jet Trainer.
The Dhruv, LCH and Rudra will be on flying display. Scale models of the Light Utility Helicopter, Hawk trainer, Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) and Su-30 will also be on display, a HAL official said.
In addition, the “Lakshya” target, Shakti engine, state-of-the-art accessories and avionics from various divisions of HAL will also be showcased.
T-50 photo: Sukhoi